South Devon High School students raise Christmas spirits by supporting local charities

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This year has seen many more people than normal needing support. To help deliver that support, South Devon High School students have been helped two local charities alongside teachers and families who have also been involved during the last few weeks.

The High School students have worked really hard to gain donations to support RE4orm and PATH Torbay.

Year 11 and Year 10 High School Childcare students worked hard to support RE4orm, gaining donations and wrapping them up ready to help spread some festive magic to support families in Torbay so children don’t go without this Christmas. In total they donated 214 presents!

As a school, we have also been able to donate food parcels and essential gifts to support the homeless in Torbay this winter in collaboration with the PATH Shoe Box appeal. Another great contribution to our local community!

High School student, Shakira Mead, said: “The reason why I wanted to help the children and families at Christmas is because I feel like it’s easy for me and many other people to take what we have for granted. When there are people struggling who won’t have anything for Christmas, it makes me so sad but also makes me want to do what I can so that they can celebrate Christmas just as much as me and my family do.”

One of the tutors leading the students in these projects was Pamela Bowman, Children and Young People lecturer at South Devon College. She said:

“Within Torbay we have one of the highest levels of child poverty and it breaks our hearts knowing that there are children going to bed hungry each night. We are so passionate about supporting these children and their families that we have teamed up with charities such as RE4orm and help deliver food parcels during the holidays whenever we can.

“We have previously held a Christmas Extravaganza where children were invited in for a north pole breakfast, take part in Christmas activities and visit Santa in the most amazing grotto. Unfortunately, due to Covid restrictions we were unable to do this but we still wanted to help as much as we could and our students were keen to help too.

“As childcare teachers we feel it’s important to be working on our students empathy skills and to make them aware of current situations within our community and especially more so with the current impact Covid is having on families who may find themselves needing support more now than ever.

“Our students worked so hard on this project by running a high school donation appeal and our local community blew us away with their enormous generosity. Our students sorted out suitable gifts, wrapped them and attached age-appropriate labels to them. Christmas can be a stressful time of year without the added pressures that some families are currently going through so our aim was to help provide some festive magic and make sure that these children and their families have a reason to smile this Christmas.”

It’s amazing to see these students so passionate to support their local community and make a real difference. Credit also to staff members, Sally Squires, Pamela Bowman, and Danielle Willis, who have also done a brilliant job inspiring these fantastic young people to get involved and achieve a great amount of support for the community.